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TEDDY AWARD Winners 2017

And the TEDDY goes to…
Here, you will find all the winners of the 31. TEDDY AWARD as well as informations about the movies and interviews with the directors and actresses/actors.

 Best Feature Film
UNA MUJER FANTASTICA (A FANTASTIC WOMAN)

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Marina and Orlando are in love and plan to spend their lives together. She is working as a waitress and adores singing. Her lover, twenty years her senior, has left his family for her. One night, when they return home after having exuberantly celebrated Marina’s birthday at a restaurant, Orlando suddenly turns deathly pale and stops responding. At the hospital, all the doctors can do is confirm his death. Events follow thick and fast: Marina finds herself facing a female police inspector’s unpleasant questions, and Orlando’s family shows her nothing but anger and mistrust. Orlando’s wife excludes Marina from the funeral; she also orders her to leave the apartment – which on paper at least belonged to Orlando – as soon as possible. Marina is a transgender woman. The deceased’s family feels threatened by her sexual identity. With the same energy she once used to fight for her right to live as a woman Marina, with head held high, now insists on her right to grieve. Even if her environment conspires against her, the film at least is entirely on her side, showing us a protagonist who, although increasingly side-lined, is nonetheless strong and worldly-wise – a truly fantastic woman.

Statement of the Jury:
A Fantastic Woman is a perfexty crafted film with magnificent cinematic approach that tells an intimate yet under-represented narrative. This film offers a very authentic universe firlmy grounded by the mesmerizing and natural performance of Daniela Vega as Marina. Sébastian Lelio has infused the story with understanding and compassion illuminating the ongoing discrimination and marginalization of transgender people around the world.

Best Documentary-/Essay Film
Ri Chang Dui Hua (Small Talk)

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Anu is a tomboy. Although she was married off at a young age – as was customary in Taiwan in the 1970s – and had two children, she quickly divorced her violent husband and brought up her daughters alone. Since then her only relationships have been with women who, like her, earn a living as professional mourners at funerals. One of her daughters is filmmaker Hui-chen Huang. It’s considered taboo in Chinese culture to question a mother’s unconditional love, and yet this taboo is exactly the topic of Huang’s intimate portrait. Mother and daughter set off on a journey together into the past during which Anu is confronted by questions that have tormented her daughter for years. In a series of long shots the two women discuss such topics as trust, abuse and cognisance, and yet most of these discussions end in painful silence. Shifting focus in order to plumb the depths of the topic, the director attempts to understand her mother by also talking to her mother’s siblings and ex-lovers. In doing so she paints a picture of changing living conditions for three generations of women in Taiwan.

Begründung der Jury:

Small Talk” is the director’s courageous portrayal of her family story, which gives the audience an inside look at a culture we might not be familiar with. This powerful documentary manages to be of universal significance and extremely intimate at the same time.


Best Short Film
Min Homosyster (My Gay Sister)

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Ten-year-old Cleo has a head full of questions: How can I tell if I’m in love with somebody? How do I know if I prefer boys or girls? Since her older sister began dating another girl, there are new, strange feelings stirring inside Cleo. During a trip to the Norwegian fjords, she broaches the subject with the young couple and is given some helpful advice.

Statement of the Jury:

Min homosyster (My Gay Sister) by director Lia Hietala is a sweet story of a young girl who is starting to learn about love with the help of her big sister and her sister’s girlfriend. The film makes visible the complex emotions even us adults sometimes have while navigating our relationships and crushes. In the role of the little sister Cleo, Juliette Safavi is exceptionally natural and a delight to watch.


Special Jury Award
Karera ga Honki de Amu toki wa (Close-Knit)

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Eleven-year-old Tomo is pretty much left to her own devices. Unwashed dishes are piling up in the sink and supermarket onigiri are all there is to eat again. Tomo’s single mother usually comes home late, and drunk. When she leaves her daughter for good one day the girl has to rely on help from her uncle, who takes in Tomo to live with him and his girlfriend Rinko. At their first meeting Tomo is flabbergasted to discover that Rinko is a transsexual. Rinko immediately sets about taking care of Tomo; not only does she lovingly prepare meals but she also succeeds in creating a new home for the girl. But before long cracks appear in their perfect nest. As in her last film Rentaneko (Panorama 2012) Japanese director Naoko Ogigami offers another story about finding a way out of one’s loneliness; in the case of Tomo and her new family the solution is a mixture of human warmth, good food and the symbolic act of knitting. In quietly concentrated images the film portrays non-normative sexuality as a natural way of life and describes the value of families that are defined not by convention but by a loving, caring environment.

Statement of the Jury:

The jury gives the special award to the film „Close-Knit“, a film which gives audiences a look into Japanese culture and the love of rainbow families through the eyes of an 11-year-old girl. Both the performances of the adults and the child actress are convincing and enjoyable. Filmmaker Naoko Ogigami’s natural dialogues and her sense of humour make for a very special movie experience. Ogigami puts emphasis on unique details such as the knitted objects, beautiful cinematography and the universal appeal of an uplifting, yet realistic story.